Doctors who sometimes work in foreign countries where English may not be the native language, will often find themselves encountering language barriers, whereby the patient will find it hard to communicate to the doctor as to what is wrong with him/her. This could lead to a wrong diagnosis and even death and while translators are an option, there are times of emergency where the translator may not get there in time. This apparently was a problem big enough for UCSF medical school students, Alex Blau and Brad Cohn, to create the MediBabble app for the iPhone.
Both Alex Blau and Brad Cohn have managed to round up a team of translators, developers, and doctors to help them get the internally funded app off the ground. The MediBabble team have also managed to gather thousands of translated questions and instructions in languages ranging from Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Russian, and Haitian-Creole over the year. They also plans to have questions and instructions in French, German, Hindi, Urdu and Arabic added to the app later on.
The app seems to be quite a hit in ER and trauma settings, where there may not be enough time to locate a translator. The app is free and the creators have no plans to change that, although they are not opposed if the app was picked up by a larger conglomerate such as WebMD. If you’re interested in checking out the interview with Alex Blau and Brad Cohn, watch the video below.